25TH SEPTEMBER 2020
EMBU MCAs MEET HEALTH WORKERS UNIONISTS IN QUEST TO END STRIKE
Striking Embu healthcare personnel have agreed to go back to work if the County Government agrees to their terms and signs a favourable Return-to-Work formula.
The health workers who met with the County Executive Committee (CEC) Members for Health and Finance Messrs Patrick Waganagwa and John Njagi in a meeting convened by the County Assembly Health Committee agreed to resume duty once their demands were met by the County Government.
Led by Kenya National Union of Nurses Chairman Joseph Ngwasi, the healthcare staff drawn from the Kenya Union of Clinical Officers, Kenya National Union of Pharmaceutical Technologists, Kenya National Union of Medical Laboratory Officers and the Kenya Union of Nutritionists and Dietitians, under the umbrella of the Kenya Health Professionals Society demanded that sacked casual workers in public hospital be reinstated before the strike is called off.
The unionists also demanded that the county remits all Trade Union deductions for September to avoid collapse of negotiations. They said failure to deduct and remit the funds was an attempt at killing labour movements by starving them of financial contributions from their members.
The ongoing strike is also protesting against delayed remittances of third-party deductions such as loans, insurance and Sacco premiums, National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF), Trade Union dues, with some of the unremitted funds dating as far back as 2013, yet the deductions were made.
The health workers are now calling for harmonisation of salaries of contract personnel in line with Employment Act, payment of Covid-19 allowances to all medics in accordance with the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) guidelines, and immediate clearance of delayed promotions and re-designation of all the deserving health workers.
Presenting their grievances before Health Committee chairman Muturi Mwombo (Ruguru-Ngandori), Deputy Speaker Steve Simba (Runyenjes Central) and Budget Committee Chairman Harrison Mwaluko (Mwea), the health workers unions petitioned the County Assembly initiate the process of auditing the County Executive’s on utilisation of the funds meant for management of Covid-19.
The petitioners also prayed that the Embu County Government provides a clear roadmap on the issue surrounding pension scheme for County employees and seconded staff in addition to constantly engaging the Labour Movement as an intermediary between employer and employee in the quest to avoid unnecessary squabbling.
County Chief Officers Ruth Ndirangu (Finance) and Grace Muriithi (Health) pledged to endeavour to meet the health workers demands and sign a Return-to-Work formula soonest possible.